IASbaba's Press Information Bureau, UPSC Articles
Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 7th to 13th September, 2020
Government of India, Government of Himachal Pradesh and World Bank sign $82 million loan for implementation of Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project
(Topic: Role of international organizations)
Objective: To strengthen transport and road safety institutions of Himachal Pradesh by improving the condition, safety, resilience, and engineering standards of state road network.
- Build climate and disaster resilient roads
- Improve road safety along tourism corridors in Himachal
- Enhance logistics along fruit belts
- Support the government’s initiative to create a corporate entity responsible for ensuring well-performing roads
A third of the maintenance contracts under the project will be awarded to women-led Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
Himachal Pradesh has the potential to produce high-value horticultural products. However, to leapfrog to the next level of competitiveness in the global value chain, the state needs to focus on improving its roads and logistics services. This project will support the Government of Himachal Pradesh to provide greater opportunity to smallholder farmers access domestic and international agricultural markets, attract private investments to enhance value chains and increase jobs and farmers’ incomes.
Himachal Pradesh, a mountain state richly endowed with natural resources, often faces landslides and flash floods that affect its road connectivity. Cloud bursts, more extreme river flows and flooding cause landslides and erosion of embankments and loss of roads or bridges. These events are projected to increase over the next few decades as a result of climate change. To protect against landslides and floods, the project will implement engineering solutions that are plant and natural-based as well as control vehicular emission to address climate risks.
Furthermore, as there is no early warning system in the state, landslides cause fatal accidents. During the snow and rainy season, transportation of agricultural products and tourists, is either terminated or delivered at a high cost. Measures such as creating an emergency response crew, upgrading drainage structures and protecting slide prone areas will help build resilient road infrastructure.
Recognizing that road safety is a critical issue, the project will enhance the state’s ability to systematically identify, analyze, develop and prioritize critical road safety measures that will benefit all road users. The ‘Safe Systems’ approach will be adopted in selected districts and heavily trafficked corridors. The state highway patrol will be trained and equipped with surveillance gear. An emergency response system will be established to help connect accident sites with dedicated hospitals for post-crash care and data collection.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India Sign $500 Million Loan for Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor
(Topic: Role of international organizations)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $500 million loan, the first tranche of a total $1 billion facility, to build a modern, high-speed 82-kilometer Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor that will improve regional connectivity and mobility in India’s national capital region (NCR).
- Provide better connectivity to allow other towns in the NCR to develop as urban economic centers surrounded by residential areas while easing the concentration pressure on Delhi. Development of this corridor will have a huge demonstration effect and pave the way for a paradigm shift in mobility and the pattern of urban development within the region.
- Support transit-oriented development (TOD) with systematic urban and land use planning around the RRTS corridor while promoting value capture financing (VCF) to generate additional municipal revenues.
- Training for women and differently abled on safe mobility and employment opportunities and behavioral change for public transport providers will also be given. The ADB-administered multi-donor Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund will provide $2.89 million to support innovations in building information modeling, universal access design features, TOD and VCF.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
India and Japan sign agreement on Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between Forces of both countries
(Topic: India and its neighbour)
- This agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.
- The agreement will also enhance the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries.
First World Solar Technology Summit
(Topic: International organizations and forums)
By: International Solar Alliance (ISA)
Aim: To bring the spotlight on accelerating affordable and sustainable clean green energy by showcasing and deliberating on innovative state of the art next generation technologies in solar power.
- Three agreements between ISA and International Institute of Refrigeration
- With Global Green Growth Institute
- With National Thermal Power Corporation
- A tripartite agreement between India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the International Solar Alliance is also set to be inked.
- ISA’s technology journal, Solar Compass 360 will also be launched during the summit
Do you know?
Nobel Laureate, Dr M Stanley Whittingham, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (jointly with John B Goodenough & Akira Yoshino) in 2019 for the revolutionizing discovery of the lithium ion batteries will deliver the key note address in the inaugural.
Global Multidimensional Poverty Index and India
NITI Aayog as the nodal agency has been assigned the responsibility of leveraging the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to drive reforms.
Global MPI is part of Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select Global Indices. The objective of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise is to
- Fulfil the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters
- Enable the utilisation of these Indices as tools for self-improvement, bring about reforms in policies, while improving last-mile implementation of government schemes.
Global MPI is an international measure of multidimensional poverty covering 107 developing countries and was first developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for UNDP’s Human Development Reports. The Global MPI is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in July, every year.
Global MPI is computed by scoring each surveyed household on 10 parameters based on -nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing and household assets.
- It utilises the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which is conducted under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS).
- According to Global MPI 2020, India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123 and 27.91% headcount ratio, based on the NFHS 4 (2015/16) data.
Launch of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
(Topic: Fisheries sector)
The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of fisheries sector in the country with an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores for its implementation during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories, as a part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
- The investment of Rs. 20,050 crores under PMMSY is the highest ever in the fisheries sector.
- Out of this, an investment of about Rs 12340 crores is proposed for beneficiary-oriented activities in Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture
- About Rs 7710 crores investment is for Fisheries Infrastructure
‘Blue Revolution’ or `Neeli Kranti’ and has the potential to attain the first place in the world in fish production. It includes MoFPI’s schemes such as Food Parks, Food Safety and Infrastructure.
Objective of PMMSY
PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25 –
- Increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25
- Doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers
- Reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10%
- Generation of additional 55 lakhs direct and indirect gainful employment opportunities in fisheries sector and allied activities
What will PMMSY address?
- PMMSY is designed to address critical gaps in fish production and productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of value chain, traceability, establishing a robust fisheries management framework and fishers’ welfare.
- While aiming to consolidate the achievements of Blue Revolution Scheme, PMMSY envisages many new interventions such as fishing vessel insurance, support for new/up-gradation of fishing vessels/boats, Bio-toilets, Aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Sagar Mitras, FFPOs/Cs, Nucleus Breeding Centres, Fisheries and Aquaculture start-ups, Incubators, Integrated Aqua parks, Integrated coastal fishing villages development, Aquatic Laboratories Network and Extension Services, Traceability, Certification and Accreditation, RAS, Biofloc & Cage Culture, E-Trading/Marketing, Fisheries Management Plans, etc.
- The focus will be on:
- Adopting ‘Cluster or Area based approaches’
- Creation of Fisheries clusters through backward and forward linkages
- Special focus will be given for employment generation activities such as seaweed and ornamental fish cultivation. It emphasizes on interventions for quality brood, seed and feed, special focus on species diversification, critical infrastructure, marketing networks etc.
Other Important Launches
A. Launch of e-Gopala App: e-Gopala App is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers. It will be the first digital platform is available in the country for farmers managing livestock including
- Buying and selling of disease free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc)
- Availability of quality breeding services (Artificial Insemination, veterinary first aid, vaccination, treatment etc)
- Guiding farmers for animal nutrition, treatment of animals using appropriate ayurvedic medicine/ethno veterinary medicine
- Send alerts (on due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc)
- Inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
B. Semen Station:
- The state of the art facility has been established under Rashtriya Gokul Mission in Purnea, Bihar with an investment of Rs. 84.27 crores.
- One of the largest semen stations in the government sector with a production capacity of 50 lakh semen doses per annum.
- Will give a new dimension to development and conservation of indigenous breeds of Bihar and meet the demand of semen doses of eastern and north-eastern States.
C. In vitro fertilization (IVF) Laboratories:
- Various IVF laboratories are being set up across the country through a 100% grant in aid.
- These labs are crucial for propagating elite animals of indigenous breeds and thereby enhancing milk production and productivity manifold.
D. Use of Sex-sorted Semen in Artificial Insemination: Through this method,only female calves can be produced (with more than 90% accuracy) which will help double the growth rate of milk production in the country.
E. Demonstration of IVF Technology at Farmer’s Doorstep: It will propagate the technology for multiplication of high yielding animals at a faster rate through the use of technology, a female cattle can give birth to 20 calves in a year.
Bamboo Plantation in India
(Topic: Agriculture and economy)
22 bamboo clusters in 9 States (Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka) were digitally inaugurated
Keeping in consideration the importance of bamboo –
- The Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in the year 2017 to remove bamboo for the category of trees, as a result now anyone can undertake cultivation and business in bamboo and its products.
- Import policy has also been modified to ensure progress of the bamboo industry in the country.
- The support being given by the Mission to local artisans through locally grown bamboo species will also actualize the goal of Vocal for Local. This will help increase income of farmers and at the same reduce dependency on imports of some raw material.
- With the wealth of bamboo in India and growing industry, India should aim to establish herself in global markets for both engineered and handcrafted products.
National Bamboo Mission
The restructured National Bamboo Mission was launched in 2018-19 for holistic development of the complete value chain of the sector.
- The Mission is being implemented in a hub (industry) and spoke model, with the main goal of connecting farmers to markets so as to enable farmer producers to get a ready market for the bamboo grown and to increase supply of appropriate raw material to domestic industry.
- The Mission was launched as a natural corollary of the historic amendment of the Indian Forest Act in 2017, removing bamboo from the definition of trees, hence bamboo grown outside forests no longer need felling and transit permissions.
- 10 most important species which are required by industry have been identified and quality planting material is being made available to farmers for plantations. Assam has already engaged FPOs for raising plantations
- Endeavours to upgrade skills of traditional bamboo craftsmen as per requirement of contemporary markets with tie up with enterprises and premier institutes so that our cultural heritage is continued. The Sector Skill Councils established under National Skill Development Agency will also impart skills and Recognition of Prior Learning to traditional artisans. This will also encourage the youth to carry forward their family traditions.
The restructured NBM strives to –
- To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.
- To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units, treatment and seasoning plants, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.
- To promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
- To rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India
- To promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector
- Northeast part of India grows 67% of India’s bamboo.
- India has the world’s largest fields of bamboo. It grows on nearly 13% of the country’s forest land.
- The eight North-eastern States – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – grow 67% of India’s bamboo and have 45% of global bamboo reserves.
- Nearly 35 species of superior quality bamboos are found in the region.
Launch of Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0) and Streets for People Challenge
(Topic: Climate change)
The objective of CSCAF is to provide a clear roadmap for cities towards combating Climate Change while planning and implementing their actions, including investments. In the last decade, an increasing frequency of cyclones, floods, heat waves, water scarcity and drought-like conditions have had adverse impacts on many of our cities. Such extreme events and risks cause loss of life as well as impact the economic growth. In this context, CSCAF initiative intends to inculcate a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.
The framework has 28 indicators across five categories namely;
(i) Energy and Green Buildings,
(ii) Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity,
(iii) Mobility and Air Quality,
(iv) Water Management and
(v) Waste Management
The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is supporting MoHUA in implementation of CSCAF.
As the lockdowns lift, cities face many challenges in providing safe, affordable, and equitable modes of transport that enable social distancing. Limited public transport options, narrow, crowded sidewalks particularly in market places and deterioration of mental health, are key issues that must be addressed on priority. Pedestrianisation of streets for walking and creating public spaces is a crucial step towards mitigating these issues.
- The Streets for People Challenge is the response to the need for making our cities more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
- The Challenge builds on the advisory issued by MoHUA for the holistic planning for pedestrian-friendly market spaces, earlier this year.
- The Challenge will support cities across the country to develop a unified vision of streets for people in consultation with stakeholders and citizens.
- Adopting a participatory approach, cities will be guided to launch their own design competitions to gather innovative ideas from professionals for quick, innovative, and low-cost tactical solutions.
Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, an excellent source of fuel methane
(Topic: Environment; New findings)
The methane hydrate deposit in this basin is a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas.
- Methane is a clean and economical fuel. It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane. Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide.
- The methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin are of biogenic origin.
- Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans.
- Coalbed methane extraction (CBM extraction): It is a method for extracting methane from a coal deposit.
- Cattle release both ammonia and methane into the atmosphere.
- Released into atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue: Carbon monoxide + Methane + Ozone + Sulphur dioxide
- Deposits of methane hydrate:
- Global warming might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits.
- Large deposits of ‘methane hydrate’ are found in Arctic Tundra and under the seafloor.
- Methane in atmosphere oxidizes to carbon dioxide after a decade or two.
Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle by DRDO
India has joined the elite club of countries having the ability to develop hypersonic missiles which can travel several times faster than the speed of sound. So far, only US, Russia and China had this ability.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully demonstrated the hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) recently from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha. With this, the country has entered into the hypersonic regime paving way for advanced hypersonic vehicles.
- The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 km, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic speed.
- The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly 2 km/s for more than 20s. The scramjet engine developed by our scientists helped the flight achieve a speed 6 times the speed of sound.
- With this technology, cruise missiles could now travel at hypersonic speeds. Scramjet engine is a major breakthrough. Air goes inside the engine at supersonic speed and comes out at hypersonic speeds.
With this successful demonstration, many critical technologies such as aerodynamic configuration for hypersonic manoeuvres, use of scramjet propulsion for ignition and sustained combustion at hypersonic flow, thermo-structural characterisation of high temperature materials, separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities etc. were proven.
It’s a major technological breakthrough in the country. This testing paves the way for development of more critical technologies, materials and hypersonic vehicles.
8th September: International Literacy Day; focuses on “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”
Madhurika Patkar: Table Tennis player, who won the Arjuna Awards in 2020
Sariska Tiger Reserve: Alwar
National Forest Martyrs Day: It is in the recognition of exemplary valour and sacrifices made by the forest personnel, in various parts of the country for the protection of our environment, forest and wildlife, that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India had declared 11th September, as National Forest Martyrs Day.
The date September 11 was chosen as National Forest Martyrs Day due to its historical significance. On this day, in 1730, over 360 people of the Bishnoi tribe led by Amrita Devi, objected to the felling of trees and due to their protest to save the trees were killed in Khejarli, Rajasthan on the orders of the king.
- In order to prevent the river beds from drying completely, sustainable sand mining must be practiced and killings of foresters or revenue staff working towards the initiative of sustainable sand mining is completely unacceptable and that steps will be taken to make sure the offenders are punished.
- The impressive and extensive biodiversity of India is guarded by a dedicated workforce of Forest Officers and staff who relentlessly work towards the protection and improvement of this irreplaceable wealth. Over the years the department has lost its forest guardians while protecting the faunal & flora wealth of nature and also in the human wildlife conflicts.
Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs: As part of the EASE Reforms, Doorstep Banking Services is envisaged to provide convenience of banking services to the customers at their door step through the universal touch points of Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App. Customers can also track their service request through these channels.
EASE 2.0 Index: A common reform agenda for PSBs, EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking. It was launched in January 2018, and the subsequent edition of the program ― EASE 2.0 built on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0 and furthered the progress on reforms. Reform Action Points in EASE 2.0 aimed at making the reforms journey irreversible, strengthening processes and systems, and driving outcomes.
- PSBs have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over fourquarters since the launch of EASE 2.0 Reforms Agenda.
- The overall score of PSBs increased by 37% between March-2019 and March-2020, with the average EASE index score improving from 49.2 to 67.4 out of 100.
- Significant progress is seen across six themes of the Reforms Agenda, with the highest improvement seen in the themes of‘Responsible Banking’, ‘Governance and HR’, ‘PSBs as Udyamimitra for MSMEs’, and ‘Credit off-take’.
- EASE Reforms Index has equipped Boards and leadership for effective governance, instituted risk appetite frameworks, created technology- and data-driven risk assessment and prudential underwriting and pricing systems, introduced Early Warning Signals (EWS) systems and specialised monitoring for time-bound action in respect of stress, put in place focussed recovery arrangements, and established outcome-centric HR systems.
Union Health Ministry’s ‘eSanjeevani’ telemedicine service records 3 lakh tele-consultations
- It is a national telemedicine service that offers tele-consultations enabling patient to doctor consultations from the confines of their home, as well as doctor to doctor consultations.
- This eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations
- The former is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme.
- The telemedicine platform is hosting over 40 online OPDs, more than half of these are speciality OPDs which include Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Dermatology, ENT, Ophthalmology, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the AIDS/HIV patients, Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) etc.
Results of Ranking of States: 2019, on support to Startup Ecosystems
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) conducted the second edition of the States’ Startup Ranking Exercise, with the key objective to foster competitiveness and propel States and Union Territories to work proactively towards uplifting the startup ecosystem. It has been implemented as a capacity development exercise to encourage mutual learning among all states and to provide support in policy formulation and implementation.
The States’ Startup Ranking Framework 2019 has 7 broad reform area, consisting of 30 action points ranging from Institutional Support, Easing Compliances, Relaxation in Public Procurement norms, Incubation support, Seed Funding Support, Venture Funding Support, and Awareness & Outreach. To establish uniformity and ensure standardization in the ranking process, States and UTs have been divided into two groups.
Best Performer: Gujarat
Top Performers: Karnataka + Kerala
Leaders: Bihar + Maharashtra + Odisha + Rajasthan
India Post launches Five Star Villages Scheme
Aim: To ensure 100% rural coverage of postal schemes
The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages. All postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at village level, under the Five Star Villages scheme. Branch offices will function as one-stop shop to cater all post office – related needs of villagers. The schemes covered under the Five Star scheme include:
- Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, NSC / KVP certificates,
- Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/ PPF Accounts,
- Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts,
- Postal Life Insurance Policy/Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy and
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account / Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village get three-star status and so on.
Aspirations for the MSME Sector
- Aims to enhance MSME contribution to GDP from about 30% to 50%; and in exports from 49% to 60%.
- Government is aiming to create 5 crore additional jobs in the MSME sector which presently employs about 11 crore people.
Road Accident Deaths: Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME has expressed confidence on halving road accident deaths from about 1.5 lakh per annum by 2025 as against the target of 2030.
World Bank and ADB are providing Rs 7000 crore each for this purpose to remove black spots from national highways.
- Already identified black spots on national highways and has already spent Rs 20,000 crore on removing the black spots.
- About 1.5 lakh road accident deaths annually, about 53,000 occur on Highways.
- The State of Tamil Nadu has brought down accidental fatalities by 25 % by implementing a project with World Bank’s assistance.
- Black spots need to be identified on State and Municipal roads where he stressed that the cooperation of public, state governments, MLAs, MPs etc is of paramount importance.
Stressed on the need for building intelligent road transport infrastructure in the country on PPP mode. There is also a need for developing Intelligent Transport System at Municipal, Provincial and National level through PPP mode.
Launch of 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline Kiran: The 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline KIRAN (1800-599-0019) was launched by DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 13 languages to provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness and in view of the growing incidence of mental illness, particularly in the wake of Pandemic COVID-19.
The objectives of the helpline are Early Screening; First Aid; Psychological support; Distress management; mental well-being; preventing deviant behaviors; Psychological crisis management and Referral to mental health experts. This helpline is dedicated to resolve mental health issues related to Anxiety; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Suicide; Depression; Panic Attack(s) Adjustment Disorders; Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and Substance Abuse. The helpline caters to- People in Distress; Pandemic induced psychological issues and Mental Health Emergency.
Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana
- A 20th century Telugu writer, he was the first writer to impart a true Teluguness to the Ramayana
- His works included poetry, novels, dramatic play, short stories and speeches, covering a wide range of subjects such as analysis of history, philosophy, religion, sociology, political science etc.
- His popular works include Ramayana Kalpa Vrukshamu (Ramayana the wish-granting divine tree), Kinnersani Patalu (Mermaid songs) and the novel Veyipadagalu (The Thousand Hoods).
- The first Telugu writer to receive Jnanpith Award; also received “Kavi Samrat” (emperor of poets) and Padma Bhushan.
The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu
On Mid-day Meal: Milk could be given either as part of breakfast or the mid-day meal in order to improve the nutritional levels of children.
On Organ Donation: Described Netra Daan (eye donation) as Sreshth Daan (best donation)
- Terming visual impairment as one of the major health challenges, the Vice President highlighted the fact that around 46 lakhs people suffer from blindness in India and most of them are in the 50+ age group.
- Calling corneal blindness as the second leading cause of blindness after cataract with about 20,000 cases every year
- As corneal transplantation surgery requires cornea donors, Shri Naidu emphasised the need to increase the number of eye donations to enable eventual eradication of corneal blindness in the country.
- India has successfully met the goals of ‘WHO Global Action Plan for Universal Eye Health 2014-2019’ which targeted a reduction in the prevalence of visual impairment by 25% by 2019 from the baseline level of 2010.
Emphasised on the need to create storage infrastructure and expertise to conduct transplant surgeries at local level so that people from smaller towns are not forced to travel to metros for organ transplant. These measures along with increased availability of donated organs would also help in curbing the unethical medical practices.
Addresses webinar on Himalayan Day: Called for making nature’s conservation a people’s movement and appealed to all citizens, especially the youth to actively take up this cause.
- For rethinking our development paradigm in such a way that human beings and nature co-exist and thrive together.
- Called for a pan-Himalayan development strategy based on the region’s natural resources, culture and traditional knowledge.
- Drawing attention to threat of degradation faced by the fragile Himalayan ecosystem, the Vice President stressed that development should not be at the cost of the environment. Frequent natural calamities are a result of our carelessness towards the nature.
- These mountain ranges not only guard our country from the cold and dry winds coming from Central Asia but also cause most of the rainfall in northern India by acting as a barrier for the monsoon winds.
- With more than 54,000 glaciers these mountains are the source for 10 major river systems in Asia, a lifeline for almost half of humanity.
On Education: Pursuit of excellence must be ingrained in the culture of our educational institutions
- Purpose of education is the pursuit of truth and improvement of the human condition
- Education must result in the creation of an integrated person
- True education must empower our children to become responsible, concerned, engaged citizens of the world
On reviving the culture of Sports: Calls for effective talent monitoring systems to identify young sporting talent
- There is an imminent need to upgrade sporting infrastructure, especially in rural areas
- We must build a large pool of home grown, highly skilled Indian coaches
- Urges more academic institutions to offer courses in sports management
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